Meta money runs dry at Nine, publishing boss confirms

Nine Entertainment’s managing director of publishing, Tory Maguire, has confirmed the network stopped receiving money from Meta last week.

In a town hall on Monday, following last Friday’s announcement of up to 200 job cuts, Maguire addressed the publishing staff whose division will be hit with up to 90 job losses.

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According to Capital Brief – which claims to have seen a transcript of Maguire’s address – after telling staffers she remains hopeful the government will take action and force Meta into renewing the News Media Bargaining Code, she said, “… we don’t know what that action will be, and we don’t know what the outcome of that action will be from our perspective…on our revenue.

“And so the only thing we know for certain is that a very large chunk of revenue is coming out of our P&L. And the tap turned off last week.”

Maguire said further clarity on the cuts will be shared in the coming months.

The news comes after hundreds of MEAA union members across the Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, Australian Financial Review, Brisbane Times and WAtoday passed a motion of no confidence in CEO Mike Sneesby following news of the cuts, saying Nine “must commit to quality journalism rather than look for easy savings by cutting editorial jobs”.

The MEAA claimed that the cuts “diminish the organisations’ ability to fulfill their commitment to quality journalism”, while acting director Michelle Rae said that “any cuts to editorial will mean reduced coverage of a range of matters and result in a less informed Australian public”.

Aside from the 90 cuts expected in Nine’s publishing division, there will be 38 jobs lost in TV and current affairs.

Last Friday, Sneesby informed staff that the 200 job losses will begin with “measures in our Publishing business to offset the loss of revenue from the Meta deal and challenges in the advertising market”.

Of the redundancies, Sneesby said “… it is not something we want to do but it is something we need to do to continue to build on a successful platform of high-quality journalism and digital journalism and digital subscription growth”.

In a separate note to staff seen by Mumbrella, managing director of Nine Publishing, Tory Maguire, said: “It is clear that we need to evolve our operating model and reset the Publishing business to create a sustainable future for the mastheads.

“In light of this the publishing division is going to have to make significant savings in FY25, right across the business. Over coming weeks the leadership team, including the editors, will be working on a plan to reduce staff costs, including in the newsrooms.

“This is the first time we have had to take headcount out of editorial since 2017, which is an extraordinary anomaly when you look at other news publishers around the country and the rest of the world.

“We will be focused on finding efficiencies where we can, and making prudent decisions so we can continue to invest in growth areas that are driving subs. We are looking at reducing the publishing division headcount by between 70 and 90 staff over coming months.”

Mumbrella has contacted Nine for further comment.


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